Covid-19: Return to Campus—Travel Safety Information


April 2021: Update to National Restrictions

The current national restrictions mean that in person learning will not resume for the majority of students until at the earliest 17 May. Travel must be minimised, so the majority of students must stay in their current accomodation and not return to campus until notice of the resumption of in-person learning.

Exceptions already apply to a handful of practical courses, and students for whom return is critical to wellbeing and educational achievement. Students who do need to return to campus are advised to plan ahead and travel safe, as below. To minimise the risk of spreading covid, students are advised to take a test before travel, as well as on arrival at University of Birmingham.

As ever, anyone who is displaying covid symptoms or has tested positive for covid or shares a household with someone who has symptoms or a positive test result, must self isolate and seek medical advice immediately. 

If travelling from abroad, students must quarantine at their own accommodation or in a specialised hotel according to UK border rules at the time of travel.

Please see this message to students from the University for further information.

While national restrictions are being lifted, the University remains focused on supporting safe and supportive arrangements for travel, working closely with train and bus operators to ensure that social distancing measures, timetabling and peak time operations are managed safely. Information about what the national restrictions mean for work and study at the University is available on the coronavirus intranet site.

Commuting on foot or by bike represent two of the healthiest means of travel in general, and two of the safest during this pandemic, and are strongly encouraged when travel to campus is essential. Please check out the information  developed for staff members who choose to walk or cycle to campus.

We are also working hard to manage our car parks effectively during this period of demand on campus.

Plan ahead

Midlands bus operators are now running a full service and trains and Metro are running with just a few less services at certain times. It is expected that all services will be operating by September.

Plan your journey with this planner and check on-the-day disruptions.

Download an app to get this info on the move. The campus map app also lets you check departures from your bus stop or the train station.

If you are travelling by train, check that social distancing is being maintained and how busy future service are likely to be using this red-amber-green service update.

Travel Safe

Pack your face covering and hand sanitiser before you go. Wearing face coverings is mandatory penalised  on public transport and in travel hubs, and non-compliance is penalised by a fine. Washing or sanitising your hands at the beginning and end of your journey is strongly advised. 

All travellers must keep their distance from other people not in their household, and no-one should travel with symptoms of coronavirus.

Further details are available from Network West Midlands

Car sharing between members of different households is to be avoided.


Bus travellers are strongly advised to use contactless payments, or to use the smartphone or pay as you go options. National Express offer flexible fares for part time commuters.

Train travellers with West Midlands Railway can buy digital tickets and access other services using their app, and also have flexible tickets for part time commuters. For users of other other lines, National Rail Enquiries is the best place to begin purchasing a ticket in advance.

 Annual season tickets can be paid for in installments via payroll. Be sure to apply to this service by the deadlines .

Safety Measures On Board

Travel companies across the region have put in extra measures to mitigate covid transmission on board.  Our biggest local bus partner  National Express West Midlands has implemented:

  • Enhanced cleaning of shared surfaces 
  • Cleaners jumping on buses at key interchanges, town centres and bus stations
  • Daily fogging of all buses with antiviral solution
  • Extra buses on roads to aid social distancing
  • Cashless payments - contactless on the bus or tickets on our app
  • Buses leaving the depot with key windows open to enhance air flow

 West Midlands Railway has: 

  • Increased cleaning of trains and stations
  • Maximised space on trains
  • Introduced one-way systems at stations
  • Published a tool to check train occupancy and choose the quietest services



Professional Services